Mariana’s work focuses on the evolution of architecture through technology, a concept which she began exploring through the Design Research Lab (DRL) of London’s Architecture Association (AA).
Born in Lisbon, where she studied before moving on to Milan and eventually London, Mariana describes herself as a “very obvious middle child” in a family of very strong women women. With a mother and two sisters in the psychology field, Mariana says she was very much in her own world of art growing up. “I spent a lot of time drawing and building my own perceptions of the world. I wasn’t exactly introverted, but I was very private in my creativity. I would experiment with illustrations and how I conceived of space and even fashion; anything to do with art... I wanted to be a painter by the time I was 5 or 6 years old but my parents wanted me to see painting more as a hobby and encouraged me to start exploring architecture. When I was 7, I started drawing my own architecture plans and by the time I was 8, I knew that’s what I wanted to be.”
After studying in Lisbon, Mariana left Portugal because she didn’t feel that it was very in sync with her ideas. “I was maybe a bit too forward-thinking, while Portugal can be very traditional. The most common practice in architecture there was restoration. They wanted to preserve the centre of Lisbon with a museum. I didn’t think that restoring and preserving structures to the way they were in the past should be the real heart of a modern city.”